It's the penultimate episode of America's Next Top Model
cycle 13, and the final four will model for their lives tonight, after an all-important competition to see who can dance "Hawaiian hip hop" the best. Did I say "all-important"? I meant none-important. What IS important is that TWO models will be eliminated tonight, and their fates will be at least partially decided by their performances in tonight's photo shoot, in which they must "channel Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes."
We already have the final photos from tonight's shoot
, so if you're in the mood for a little spoiler while you watch, check them out! Plus: I've got a video of each girl's runway walks
so far this cycle, and a pre-episode interview with Erin
where she hints, among other things, that she's "not one to take rejection lying down." Don't say I never gave you anything.In honor of the momentous double elimination, I'm livethoughting the episode tonight, so follow along with me right here and in 140 characters or less on BuddyTV's awesome America's Next Top Model Twitter.
America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.
Okay, Nicole, Jennifer, Laura and Erin, here it goes. You're the moderately-fab four, and we're ready to be wowed tonight. Convince me you deserve this high honor Tyra has bestowed upon your short frames... with your sexy hula skills and lovely lava posing. The two of you who aren't up to snuff, well... say "Aloha!" (It also means "goodbye.")
To start us off, Erin admits she's here "by the skin of her teeth." At least she knows it! But being under "I just survived the bottom two" pressure hasn't helped her performance in the last three weeks, either.
Nicole, on the other hand, reflects on her transformation from Bloody Eyeball caterpillar to Best Model butterfly. She thinks she should be in the top two with Jen. Jen is thrilled that she FINALLY got a #1 photo.
And, in case we forgot in the last few weeks, these girls. ARE. SHORT. Laura's now really feeling the pressure that if she doesn't win this competition, she might not accomplish her ultimate dream of posing for Victoria's Secret.The Challenge:
The girls arrive at the beach, where they see hula girls... who suddenly shift into music video vixens. They learn from Anna-Rita, their hula hip hop instructor, that they will need to learn the dance, and whoever performs best will be the challenge winner.
And then comes the twist: each girl will perform a "solo" incorporating
traditional hula moves into her hawaiian hip hop. They learn moves that signify love, strength, fear,
determination, sadness, and other emotions, to help tell their unique
Erin is confident that she can learn the moves because she used to be a cheerleader. She actually helps the other girls learn the choreography. And, in true form, over-helps... and gets on their nerves. Especially Nicole's. On the flip side, Erin is banking on Nicole's natural awkwardness to show that she actually doesn't know how to dance.
(Check out the slideshow below to see photos of the models learning to hip-hop-hula!)
Miss J is there to say "hello-ha" and see them put their hula moves to the test. Each girl performs individually, to tell her unique "story." The winner gets a 5-day all expense paid stay at the Four Seasons in Maui with a friend. Now THAT'S a prize.
Jennifer: Her story is about love, determination and happiness. The instructor says she can keep a beat, and she has good flow during her solo.
Erin: Her story is about being sad, lonely, and scared, and then turning stronger and happier. Miss J says Erin looked angry instead of sad.
Laura: Her story is about chasing big dreams and making them reality. Miss J says Laura really told a good story. With her booty.
Nicole: Her story is about awkwardness and transformation. She forgets most of her moves, and looks really awkward.
After, the judges tell the girls that: Erin freestyled well, Laura krunked up a storm, Nicole was uber-awkward, and Jennifer wasn't too consistent, but looked like a model. And the winner IS... LAURA!
AND SHE. IS. SOOOOO. EXCITED!
"It's frikkin terrific!" Unfortunately, she doesn't get to choose a friend from home. She chooses another model to come with, and she chooses Jennifer. Erin pouts because she helped everyone learn the hula moves, and she thinks Laura should have chosen her.The Photo Shoot
The models learn they'll be posing as "Pele," the goddess of volcanoes, on the Secret Beach. And then Jay tells them how important this photo shoot is: two girls will be eliminated at the next panel.
The key to this shoot is to time all the elements (the rock, the waves, the dress, the emotion) perfectly together, and evoke the feeling of a goddess. Not a small task, and now the pressure is on, as half of the competition will be wiped out as a result of this shoot.
"Don't let that freak you out too much." - Jay. (Riiiight.)
The girls get into hair and makeup, and the stylists put Jennifer and Nicole in bright pink and yellow, respectively, while Erin is in pale beige and Laura is in black.
Jennifer's up first. She has an idea of posing her hands in a prayer motion, but the photog and Jay aren't thrilled with it. They talk her into several other poses, and tell her to shut her mouth (they notice it, too?). It's hard to tell if she's getting good shots or not, and she's standing on her tiptoes on the sharp lava rock. She thinks her last few shots were really beautiful.
Nicole is next. Is there ANY color this girl can't rock? I'm a ginger too, and I just don't understand. Anyway, Nicole looks gorgeous. Jay says she delivered a "campaign-worthy image," and the photog makes fun of him for "peeing in his pants" over his Nicole-excitement.
Laura's up. She starts off a bit rocky (heh heh) because she's in a bit of pain, and she looks a bit... uninspired. Like she's not having fun, and it shows. She keeps lifting her back leg awkwardly up and out. The shoot doesn't end up too hot, and Jay is at a loss for words. He calls it a "little boozy," and worries her. "It didn't go good," she says, and she wants to ball up and cry. She's very nervous about panel now.
Erin's ready to step up her game. Again. She wants to look "powerful and wrathful" like a goddess, and as a result, she snarls when the photog wants her to "flirt" with him. She says she starts to sing a pop song in her head to not look so mean, and the results immediately improve. From her hair to her skin to her dress, she looks mighty, mighty pale, but at least now her look is soft and serene to match. Judging Panel
Before judging, Jennifer lays it all out there: from the models' perspective, it's tough to know who's at risk. Nicole, Jenn and Laura have all done well the whole competition, and never been in the bottom two. And while Erin's been there three times, the judges seem to love her. (Why? I don't know. Ask Tyra.) So who will get the boot?
Based on just this Pele photo shoot, my money goes on Erin and Laura. But it's hard to deny Laura's total Covergirly-ness, so Jennifer is just as much at risk. If Nicole gets eliminated, I will die of shock. JUST. DIE. Gingers 4 Lyfe!
It's judging tiiiime. And Tyra's busted out her best beige power-jumpsuit for the occasion! She lays out all the prizes again, just to get their mouths watering before she cuts two of them. The guest judge is Ann Shoket.
Erin's up first: Nigel thinks it's elegant, glowing, beautiful, gorgeous. Jay wishes there was some smeyes. Tyra says her film looks sleepy, but she needs to keep tension in the whole shot... without looking angry.
Jennifer: Nigel thinks it's pretty, but not her best angle. There's power, but she looks stiff, and compact. Uh oh: Jennifer starts making excuses, saying this isn't her best shot, maybe. Tyra says her other shots holding the skirt looked "amateur." Tyra does compliment her tan skin, though. Jennifer's face isn't the best here, but in person she's endearing and likable, which the judges appreciate.
Laura: Tyra complains about the outfit again. As for the photo, she looks like Rachel Hunter. J compliments her many faces, calling her "the gold tooth in a mouth full of decay." DAMN, what a zing. Nigel says the legs look short, and Ann loves the face, but I think it's a little too blank. And kind of creepy. But, whatever, Laura is one of my favorites, and she looks beautiful anyway.
Nicole: Nigel loves the close-up of the piercing eyes, but thinks the wide shot is lacking in movement in the legs. Ann likes the vulnerability and strong emotion. Tyra likes her "tenderness" and "mystery." Tyra thinks Nicole is modeling "H to T," but Nigel calls it "H to W," head to waist. J wishes she had more passion in the eyes, and the others think maybe she could have filled up the frame more. DOUBLE ELIMINATION
Tyra will only hand out two photos... waaaah! The first finalist is...
Well, duh. Tyra calls the bottom three (?) forward. It's odd to hear her give the speech to three girls. She tells Jennifer she loves editing her film, but lately it's been shaky. Laura is sweet and sunny, and they love her diverse photos, but she lacks the poise. Erin started off so strong, but she's lost her way... though this last photo is a comeback with a vengeance. The other finalist is...
Tyra and the finalists say goodbye to Jennifer and Erin, and it's more emotional than most. Except for Erin, who's keeping it all in... maybe to keep from screaming as Tyra gives her advice.
Erin and Jennifer pack up their things. Erin calls it a "punch in the face" to get so far and not win. She wishes she had put more vigor into her last few photos, and she starts to cry. Jennifer says it hurts to be so close and lose, but the experience was amazing. Going through the competition has inspired her to pursue modeling in a serious way.NEXT WEEK:
Laura and Nicole each go through lots of takes as they shoot their final Covergirl commercials, and then face off in a wild jungle runway show that incorporates all the elements.
And there's our final two, folks! How do you feel? Happy? Sad? Confused? Sound off in the comments, and check back tomorrow for both my exit interviews with Jennifer and Erin!
-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of the CW